Category Archives: Home of the Month

May 2015 Home of the Month

306 Brooks Avenue,
home of Donna Carver and Dave Close

Our Home – “The Moore House”

Our home, situated at 306 Brooks Avenue, was built in 1928 by George and Nellie Moore.  Mr. Moore was a steel worker at Raleigh Iron Works Co. located at the corner of Hargett and West Streets.  Raleigh Iron Works produced a number of products, one being boilers.  Our home has a working boiler, albeit not the original one, that we use to generate steam for the radiators.  For us the boiler is an integral part of our lives (winter only) and is a source of warmth and wonder.  In 1965, Mrs. Moore was joined in residence by the Russell Herman family and they shared the house at 306 until 1982. Neighborhood residents recall that the Hermans’ had five children and they all enjoyed running through the house playing tag and hide and seek.

Robert and Fair Wright took ownership of the house in 1982.  They renovated the house; improving plaster, updating electrical, and adding central air conditioning.  Robert designed and built the two car garage in 1991, including a studio above where he conducted his architectural business.  The Wrights raised a daughter at 306, and she showed us the house when we first looked at it in 1996.  She did not want her mother to sell the property, but if it had to be sold she wanted a family to live in her childhood home.  We fell in love with the house and moved in on Halloween 1996, bringing two children with us. Soon after, we had our third child and the house once again became a wonderful place for watching and hearing children run and play.

306 Brooks, Front Entry
306 Brooks, Front Entry

Our first order of business upon moving in was to update the plumbing, one of those costly projects that provide no visible evidence of improvement. With dogs and children, we decided to fence the front yard, and had our “black cemetery fence” installed. The fence was a visible testament to our improvement of the property, but it did not keep dogs or toddlers in the yard.  This predicament forced us to invest in a lot of chicken wire which we strung along the wrought iron fence, rendering it less than stately.

We replaced the side porch in 2014 and restored it to the style of the original home.  We have done very few other projects but plan to redesign and transform the kitchen this summer.

306 Brooks Avenue, was built in 1928 by George and Nellie Moore
306 Brooks Avenue, was built in 1928 by George and Nellie Moore

This home is about the neighborhood. Our children grew up here, going to FAO, Martin and Broughton.  We often referred to the house as “Camp Brooks,” as the boys often had friends running about.  We have made lasting friendships here, we have seen neighbors come and go and for the most part they enhanced our lives.  Older people such as Margaret Massey, Isabella Cannon and Gina Zweigart walked by the front fence often, and became a part of our children’s lives.  When we moved to 306 our block was largely inhabited by widows, women who were a part of the history of University Park.  Many of their homes are rentals now, but there is evidence of young families moving into the area, so that we can continue to hear the laughter of children.

October 2014 Home of the Month

Meet Jeff Burton: 2212 Roberts Street

As a Raleigh native attending Broughton High, the Cameron Village area has always been very familiar and special to me. This fondness led me to my first purchase in the neighborhood in 1998. Since then, I have purchased, remodeled, and developed new infill construction in the neighborhood and the downtown Oakwood area for the past 18 years. Houses and projects are my passion. I am thrilled to have just completed 2212 Roberts Street here in University Park. Living in a diversified urban and walkable area has made my life so convenient.

This 1900’s-era bungalow was relocated in 1948 from a lot where the Cameron Village shopping center is now located. It was laid on a new cinder block foundation positioned on the site. The house was uninhabited and in total disrepair upon purchase. My helper and I completely disassembled the structure by hand to the 1948 foundation footprint. Fifteen new footers and piers were poured to support the new girder and floor system. New 1st and 2nd floor framing was assisted by my old building partner. Twenty Eight-foot LVL beams engineer the cantilevered top structure that houses the master suite. This was designed by Charles Holden at Oxide Architecture.

My plan is to live here with my Chesapeake retriever Brooklynn while we begin the process of building another Oxide plan created for a lot a block over on the corner of Oberlin and Bedford. I would like to thank the neighborhood and the Association for enabling me to share the property and my story.

Before:

 

After:

Learn more about the construction of Jeff’s home at: http://oxidearchitecture.com/html/projects/roberts.html

September 2014 Home of the Month

Home of Trisha Simpson
911 Brooks Avenue

The little Craftsman house was built in 1932. Trisha Simpson is the sixth owner to live in the house. Before Trisha moved into the house in September 2010, extensive renovations were completed in the interior of the house: the bathrooms were gutted, hardwoods installed upstairs, new shelves for downstairs office, closet space added, and painting throughout.

In December 2013, a new metal roof was added, a new wood fence installed, and the exterior of the house was re-painted a cheerful pink. What better color to accentuate the ever growing collection of pink flamingos?
Trisha had always wanted a little pink house, and as the half-way point for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® every June, it was truly a serendipitous moment … She finally had a wonderful excuse to paint her house PINK. The pink house, in addition to the BRA-VO Tree (adorned with more than 200 bra donations), and other pink decorations that change from year-to-year help make the event special for The Race participants and those who join Trisha for the Pink Porch Party. While she uses The Race as the reason for the pink, the real reason is that she fell in love with two pink houses on the other side of Wade Avenue several years ago.

Landscaping work is next on the list. Unfortunately, the beautiful, huge oak tree in the front yard – one of the many reasons Trisha purchased the house – had to be taken down this spring because of interior rot. After a year of worrying about the tree falling during every storm, a dear friend pointed out that it could either be the loss of the house or the tree. While logic prevailed, the loss of the tree still hurts. But a new tree will start growing soon – perhaps one with lovely pink flowers.

The 82 year old house has become a welcoming home for Trisha, her curmudgeonly Basset Hound, Woofie, and her friends & family. It is perfect for entertaining and the location is the best location in Raleigh. But most importantly, the neighbors are wonderful.

 

911-Brooks-4

911-Brooks-3

911-Brooks-2

August 2014 Home of the Month

Home of Todd and Del Wehner

DelMarie and Todd Wehner have been interested in moving back into the neighborhood north of NC State since they met, and they started looking for houses to buy after they got married at the JC Raulston arboretum in 2012. They are the fifth owners of the house on 2504 Mayview Road, and have been working to make the house their home. The first projects were to get the garage door and basement windows replaced, and to improve security.

Del and Todd have been working on the house steadily, and have made it comfortable by now. So far, they have upgraded the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and landscape. The kitchen has been remodeled, with lighting, outlets, granite counters, plumbing, and cabinet refinishing. The attic has been made more efficient with new windows. A front porch was added last month, and has become their new favorite ‘room’.

They hope to continue adding value to the house over the next few years, but will be spending more time having fun instead of so much house renovation.

April 2014 Home of the Month

The Home of Robby and Ginny Brown: 801 Gardner Street

Our home was built for Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Dixon in 1939. Thomas W. Cooper was the architect. The home originally faced Van Dyke Street and had approximately 1100 square feet. The house had two bedrooms, kitchen, dining room (with bay window), a heater room, and one bathroom. The house had a terrace on the front, and a porch on the back which led to the garage, with a gravel floor. The exterior was brick. Interestingly, what is now ‘Gardner Street’ was refered to as ‘Daughtridge Street’ at one point on the plans, but that was scratched out and it was referred to as ‘West Street’. The parallel street across the creek (now Fairall) was referred to as ‘East Street’. Today, the house has 2300 square feet and faces Gardner Street. It has an open plan kitchen, dining, and living room, three bedrooms, 2 full baths, 1 ½ bath, hardwood floors, a front porch, and a deck off the master bedroom with a hot tub. After hiring two contractors and a couple of backhoes, the bamboo was finally removed from the backyard, unearthing many beautiful and unusual plants which we were unable to salvage. We added a slate patio off the dining room. We have a two car garage. The base of the home has the original bricks, and bricks in the kitchen and dining room. A “sun-like” room is on the end of the house facing Van Dyke Street.

We have lived here eleven years and enjoy the proximity to Cameron Village and Hillsborough Street. The neighborhood is pleasant for walking our dog, Satchmo, a Dachshund. Thanks for the “yard of the month”, the daffodils are blooming and spring has sprung.

Ginny & Rob Brown

March 2014 Home of the Month

Home of Greg Flynn and Anita Sawhney
2826 Barmettler Street

Our house was born on 1720 Ridge Road, we believe between WWI and WWII. It was originally a bungalow with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. It was moved to Barmettler Street in 1995 when a second floor was added, providing 2 more bathrooms and bedrooms. It developed more of a farmhouse style exterior.

We bought the house in 2001, immediately falling in love with the old, homey feel. The original wood floors, French windows, glass doorknobs, front porch and stone fireplace were just what we were looking for. The second floor proved a perfect complement with big master bedroom and modern bath.

With a daughter joining our family and our fondness for entertaining, we yearned for a bigger kitchen and a bedroom downstairs. Greg, an architect, designed our renovation/addition, and in 2013, our dreams finally started coming to fruition.

The renovation downstairs included opening a wall between rooms in the front to provide airier living space, and converting a clunky bathroom into a powder room. We also added a projecting window seat in the staircase area. The kitchen was expanded and renovated. The addition includes a family room, guest bedroom and bathroom, study, screened porch, deck, and garage. The modern style of the addition provides an interesting juxtaposition with the old house while blending with it. One of the biggest features cannot be seen. A geothermal heat pump system provides earth-friendly heating and cooling with three 300 foot deep wells under the rear yard.

We were very pleased with the builder, Northgate Group and cabinet makers, Eidolon Designs, both of Boylan Heights.

After a year out of the house, we are thrilled to be back in University
Park.

February 2014 Home of the Month

Ben and Cara Shaw House, 2400 Kilgore Avenue

Cara Shaw writes that “Ben and I first moved to Raleigh in 1996, when our sons (Sam and Aaron) were 2 and 4 years old.  We bought a very old house (built in 1917, I think) on the corner of St. Mary’s and Lane streets, because we wanted to be close to downtown.  The house had a lot of character, and also a lot of problems, as one would expect from a house of that age.  But we loved the area, and were sorry to leave it two years later when Ben got a job in South Carolina.  A year later we moved back to Raleigh, and found a new house in a neighborhood outside the beltline.  It was a nice place and we stayed there for 14 years, but we still missed being close to downtown.

We particularly missed being able to walk to just about anything.  Eventually, we started looking around the Cameron Village and University Park areas, checking for homes for sale.  We contacted a real estate agent and went to see several properties, and made an offer on one, but did not find anything that was exactly what we wanted.  Around the spring of 2011, I saw a for sale sign on the corner of Kilgore and Chamberlain Streets.  I called the owner/seller and asked some questions about the property, and said we would think about it.  For quite a long time, we came over to see the lot often as we tried to imagine it as our home.  Finally, in December of 2011, we called the owner and said we would like to buy the corner lot.  We closed on it in February of 2012, having no idea what to do next.  The lot next to ours had been sold to a builder, so we spoke with them.   We explained that we wanted a house that would fit in with the character of the neighborhood, one that looked like an older home.  They brought us to meet with an architect, who showed us several plans for traditional cottage-style homes.  He said he could modify any of the plans to suit our needs.  We quickly decided on the one with an L-shaped front porch, which looked perfect for our corner lot.  Construction began in July 2012, and we moved into the new house in January 2013.  Along the way we had to make so many decisions:   Paint colors, carpet, flooring, cabinets, lighting fixtures — who knew there were so many things to select for a new house?  We really had no clue what we were doing, and it felt like we spent every spare moment researching and planning some aspect of the house.  We visited the site at least weekly throughout the construction.  When we were finally able to move in, we were relieved and exhausted — but very glad to be here!

About the house itself:  It has a very open floor plan, with the living room/kitchen/dining area all connected as one big room.  The first floor includes the master bedroom and a den/office.  Upstairs there are three bedrooms and an unfinished storage area that could be made into another bedroom if we ever had the need for one.  There are lots of windows throughout the house, which makes it feel very connected to the outdoors.  And possibly the best places are the front porch and the screened porch!

A somewhat interesting fact:  The address of the house that used to sit on this lot was 607 Chamberlain St., and the front of the house faced Chamberlain.  When that house was torn down and the lot subdivided, the new address of our lot became 2400 Kilgore, and the house officially faces Kilgore.  But since our driveway is on the Chamberlain side, and the entrance to the kitchen is on that side of the house, we generally use that as the main entrance.

In the year since we moved in, we have had no regrets about moving to this location. We love being able to walk to restaurants, the grocery store, the bank, the post office, the library, etc. The walkability and the friendliness of the community have been our favorite things so far.

Our next project will be the backyard.  We had wanted to have a garden there, and still do.  One thing we had not realized when looking at the lot is that it is not flat!  It looked fairly level, but once the house was built we realized that the yard slopes considerably — causing soil to wash away down the hill.  Last summer we successfully grew lettuce, basil, and peppers.  The tomatoes and spinach we planted did not do well.  If anyone has gardening advice for us, we could surely use some!

And as for Kirby — the big yellow dog you may see outside in the fenced yard sometimes — he is really very friendly but he barks at people.  Mostly at people he doesn’t know well, so stop by and meet us, and him! “

January 2014 Home of the Month

2312 Van Dyke: Home of Kyla Block and Ian Teeson

The story of our house on Van Dyke Ave started in December of 2006 when I bought the little blue house that used to be on this lot. I lived in it with my sister for the first year until she went to nursing school.  After discovering mold in the house, I was able to donate most of the structure to Builders of Hope (http://www.buildersofhope.org/) who moved the house across town (after hauling it away intact!). Builders of Hope rehabbed the old structure in a green manner and then sold it. Leoneda Inge of WUNC came early the morning of the move to tape it and interview Nancy Welsh and me. I sat with my neighbors, Lisa and Randy Beebe, sipping mimosas as my house trundled down Van Dyke.

Fellow University Park neighbor Mark Robertson’s company Prime Building Company built my home.  I got Mark’s name from Mert and Nicoa Dunne.  Prime Building did a fantastic job. It is designed by Michaela Mahady and has a great open layout. Here is the link for the new house design: http://www.architecturalhouseplans.com/home_plans/231 The new house is actually situated on almost the exact same footprint as the original home, but instead of being 1.5 stories, the current house is two stories. My fiancé Ian and I share the house with our two dogs Benny and Bella, as well as my sister and her dog. However, this living situation is currently temporary as my sister plans on moving into her own house on … Van Dyke! We love the community in this neighborhood, as well as the close proximity to Cameron Village, NCSU, and downtown. We cannot imagine living anywhere else in Raleigh and feel very fortunate to live in University Park.

December 2013 Home of the Month

The UPHA December Home of the Month is Edmonson House at 2508 Stafford Avenue

Sue and Root Edmondson’s home on Stafford Avenue is decorated for Christmas 2013. Because they have lived there for thirty-eight years, their holiday decorations have gradually evolved, so that this year the décor has reached perfection.  In the late 1970s, recalls Sue, the other residents of Stafford Avenue put up modest traditional decorations, usually just a wreath on the front door, sometimes enhanced with white electric candles in the windows. Sue laughs when she recalls her own revolutionary décor. She was the first homeowner on the block to drape lights on her shrubbery—colored lights at that! Not until she switched to white shrubbery lights did she receive any compliments from her neighbors.  Colored lights were simply not “traditional.” About ten years ago, when they added a big front porch, their decorations became more elaborate. Now white lights outline the porch railings and the central porch entrance, accented by a red bow. The porch, furnished like an outdoor living room, has many chairs decorated with “Holiday” pillows and textiles. Crystal angels sit on the living room window sills. Because Sue’s birthday is December 26, Christmas is an even bigger holiday for her than for most of us. As a child, her grandmother and mother made a Christmas tree cake for her birthday by baking four or five layers tapering from large to small, decorated with white icing and red hots.

The Edmondsons have been involved in University Park for many years. Root, an attorney, wrote the first set of bylaws for the University Park Homeowners Association. Sue tended the rose garden for six years in the 1980s. Their children Ashley and Justin, now grown, often played in the Rose Garden as children. As the children grew, so did the house, a small one built in the late 1940s. The Edmonsons added a large rear addition, and placed the kitchen in the center of the house, illuminated by skylights, because it was the space where everyone always gathered. Since 2011 Sue has been one of the artists in the Roundabout Art Collective at 305 Oberlin Road. Her painting of an old garden trowel won first prize in a show at the Visual Art Exchange in downtown Raleigh this year.  We salute the Edmonson family and their beautiful Christmas décor for their longtime contribution to the character and vitality of University Park.

Edmonson House Christmas Decorations